As machinery gets heavier and crops get tougher, Michelin aims to reduce field compaction with help from a wide footprint on its YieldBib radial tire line. The company also has extended its Stubble Shield warranty, an investment representatives say demonstrates Michelin’s commitment to proven technology that combats stalk residue and keeps rubber in better shape.
The line of YieldBib tires – which recently won an AE50 award for innovation from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers – has been expanded to include four sizes for high-horsepower and mechanical front-wheel assist tractors:
- VF380/85 R34
- VF420/85 R34
- VF480/80 R46
- VF480/80 R50
The tires also are available to the replacement market for existing equipment and new orders.
What sets the Michelin YieldBib apart from a competitor tire, says Bob Rees, technical manager for Michelin, is that it contains Very-High-Flexion (VF) technology that can carry the same weight at up to 40% reduced pressure, limiting compaction.
A display at Michelin’s 2013 National Farm Machinery Show booth illustrates the compaction issue: An 18,000 lb. mockup tractor bears two tall tires, one a YieldBib from Michelin and the other a tire from a competitor. Both tires are pressurized to manufacturer specifications, and both bulge out at the base where the tire meets the ground. But in the case of the YieldBib, the result is a tire footprint between 10% and 12% wider than that of the competitor tire.
At another display, two tires illustrate what Michelin says is the advantage of Stubble Shield: Lugs are set at 45-degree angles so that when corn stalks hit them, they deflect off. Shoulders at the edge of the tire are designed in an open fashion to prevent crop from getting trapped, while more material is added at the center of the tire to create a stronger product less prone to being punctured.
While there has been a trend to withdraw stubble damage warranties among many manufacturers, Rees says, the advances in Stubble Shield technology have allowed Michelin to extend its stubble warranty from three years to four. Less tire damage ultimately means more time in the field and better resale value down the road.
"The investment’s paying off in many, many ways," Rees says.